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Voluntary Contributions to Personal Pension Plans: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey

  • Alessandra Guariglia
  • Sheri Markose

In this paper, we use data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) for the years 1992 to 1998 to study the determinants of saving in the form of voluntary contributions to personal pension plans (PPPs). We first estimate a probit model with selection for the probability of making these voluntary contributions. We then estimate a random-effects tobit regression for the amounts contributed and compare the results with those of a similar regression for conventional saving. Our findings suggest that voluntary contributions to PPPs are made essentially for retirement purposes, whereas conventional saving is undertaken for precautionary motives. The former type of saving is thus unlikely to offset the latter completely.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 21 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 469-488

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:21:y:2000:i:4:p:469-488
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  1. Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Saving and income smoothing: Evidence from panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1251-1279, July.
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  3. Christopher D. Carroll & Karen E. Dynan & Spencer D. Krane, 1999. "Unemployment risk and precautionary wealth: evidence from households' balance sheets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Boozer, Michael A., 1997. "Econometric Analysis of Panel Data Badi H. Baltagi Wiley, 1995," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 747-754, October.
  5. Blake, David, 2003. "Pension Schemes and Pension Funds in the United Kingdom," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199243532, March.
  6. Poterba, James M. & Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1995. "Do 401(k) contributions crowd out other personal saving?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-32, September.
  7. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Risk pooling, precautionary saving and consumption growth," IFS Working Papers W99/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Miles, David, 1997. "A Household Level Study of the Determinants of Incomes and Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 1-25, January.
  9. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Dilnot, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Johnson, Paul & Whitehouse, Edward, 1994. "Pensions policy in the UK: An economic analysis," MPRA Paper 10478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Philip Merrigan & Michel Normandin, 1994. "Precautionary Saving Motives: An Assessment from U.K. Time Series of Cross-Sections," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 29, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  12. Carl Emmerson & Sarah Tanner, 2000. "A note on the tax treatment of private pensions and Individual Savings Accounts," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 65-74, March.
  13. Lusardi, Annamaria, 1998. "On the Importance of the Precautionary Saving Motive," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 449-53, May.
  14. Andrew A. Samwick, 1997. "Discount Rate Heterogeneity and Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 6219, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  16. William G. Gale, 1998. "The Effects of Pensions on Household Wealth: A Reevaluation of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 706-723, August.
  17. Armando Barrientos, 1998. "Supplementary pension coverage in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 429-446, November.
  18. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1992. "Testing for Selectivity Bias in Panel Data Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 681-703, August.
  19. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1996. "The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 113-138, Fall.
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